Centrica, the holding company for energy giant British Gas, has shortlisted four media agencies in a planning/buying review that puts billings of around £24 million ($34.21m; €38.63m) up for grabs.

Battling for a place in the sun are: Carat (Aegis Group), Zenith Media (Publicis/Cordiant), OMD UK (Omnicom) and Mindshare (WPP Group).

The smart money is on OMD, which already plans and buys media for the majority of BG’s advertising, although Carat is seen as a dark horse handling, as it does, a certain amount of direct response media work for BG.

The British Gas contest is just one element in an overall review of media by Centrica, which is likely to repeat the exercise later this year for its Goldfish credit card and Automobile Association units.

Group-wide consolidation is not an option, says Centrica.

News source: Media Week (UK)